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THE PUMPS INDUSTRY 2017

The global economic slowdown continues to


affect many of our pump-industry customers,
with several of our smaller customers
having downscaled or closed down. Many of
our larger customers, meanwhile, have
engaged in merger and acquisition activity to
reduce costs, ensure market share and
expand their product ranges and distribution
networks. They have also sought to develop
new technologies and solutions that give
them a competitive edge, moving into
aftermarket support and even starting to
manufacture in developing countries where
they hope to increase sales.

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Some general trends that Vesconite Bearings has
observed in 2016, and which are likely to continue
into 2017, include the following:

Making pumps energy efficient

Many pump users are intent on reducing their energy demands. The electricity used in pumping is
considerable so the benefits of reducing electricity consumption and costs through right sizing and
minimising vibration, heat and noise are key. Environmental concerns also weigh heavily on many, and
the reduction of CO2 emissions and improved efficiency play an important part in many
pumping-system buying decision.

Our solution
Our bushings have a low co-efficient of friction and make pumping more efficient. This translates into a
reduction in energy consumption.

Keeping life-cycle costs down

Maintenance considerations continue to play a role in purchases. Many users of pumps wish to purchase
reliable equipment that will not let them down in the middle of a production cycle. They are aware that
work stoppages reduce earnings and profits, and are choosing products that will assist with their core
production activity while not costing an arm and a leg.

Our solution
Our pump bushings have been proven to last longer than traditional bronze material and rubber products
and this gives a pump a longer lifecycle. Our bushings also reduce wear to connecting parts, reducing
maintenance costs further.

Selling is harder in some industry sectors

Pump users in the mining, marine and oil and gas sectors, among many others, have been hard hit by the
slowing global economy. Pump users in these sectors are trying to extend the use that they get from their
pumps and are not as ready to purchase new equipment.

Our solution
Stressed companies can source pump bushings and wear rings from Vesconite Bearings where only
these need to be replaced. This saves these companies from having to buy all components that are found
in repair kits, when only certain components are required.

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Food and water concerns
Food producers and water utilities are increasingly concerned about the health and safety of the equip-
ment that they buy. They are aware that equipment needs to be shown to be safe for food preparation,
safe for use in water distribution and proven not to contaminate the environment.

Our solution
Vesconite is approved for food contact by the Laboratories National DEssais and contact with drinking
water by the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme. Vesconite Hilube also has NSF61 approval for use in
potable water applications in the US.

Urbanisation and pressure on infrastructuree


Urbanisation levels are increasing in many of the markets that Vesconite Bearings operates in. This has
put pressure on ageing water and gas infrastructure.

Our solution
Our products are being used in potable water and butane gas supply in regions where urbanisation is
increasing. Our global reach means that our products are dispatched within days of ordering them.

VESCONITE Founder turns 85

Mr Alain Leger, who founded Virginia Engineering Services (Pty)


Ltd in 1958, turned 85 in June 2016. He celebrated with family in
Prince Albert in the Cape, while staff wished him well from Virginia
and Johannesburg.

A chemical engineer by training, Mr Leger started the company


as a precision engineering and engine reconditioning workshop.
A hard chrome plating plant that specialised in the chroming of
crankshaft journals was added shortly thereafter.

VescoPlastics, the engineering plastics division of the company,


was created in 1968 to complement the companys engineering
activities. Mr Leger has led VescoPlastics for 35 years and contin-
ues to play a role in product development.
Mr Alain Leger

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Rural market to benefit from accessible butane gas

A butane pump manufacturer has concluded negotiations to distribute


its portable butane gas pumps, which feature Vesconite piston-rod
bushings and composite piston discs, to rural areas in South Africa.

The filling pump has gone through rigorous testing by Gas Piping
Services (GPS), a distributor of the pump.

Mevaco Pty MD Max Viljoens company manufactures industrial as well


as portable butane pumps, the latter of which are primarily used for
small volume cylinder filling and gas transfer at transfer sites.

We intend to sell the portable pump together with a gas unit, scales
and bottles through GPS into the growing small, medium and micro
enterprise butane market, says GPS director AJ de Wet.

The hope is that the distribution arrangement will allow the companys
pumps to be more widely installed and potentially be found in rural
hardware stores and gas distributors.

A successful implementation of the initiative would allow rural South


A portable butane pump is included as part
Africans to access butane more easily to cook and heat households as of a steel lockable gas business that can be
well as use the fuel in commercial food production, agriculture and the started almost anywhere.
production of ceramics, glass and metal work.

Viljoen notes that the company uses Vesconite piston-rod bushings and
piston discs because of Vesconites high dimensional stability, ability to withstand temperature changes,
flexibility and cost effectiveness.

Mevacos portable butane pumps are suited to remote, low volume or mobile sites. They provide the
operator with a high-quality pump with low long-term running costs.

WHY Vesconite has proved to be successful in butane pumps


Durability. Vesconites long wear life is superior to competing products, including nylon and bronze.
Low wear on metal parts even when dry running.Butane dissolves most solvents. Made from self
lubricating materials, Vesconite can run dry for short periods.
Smaller clearances. Alternative products generally require large clearances, due to the tempera-
ture changes that occur when the gas changes phase as a result of disconnecting hoses. Vesconite
can operate with small clearances.
Temperature range.Pump components must withstand the typical liquid and gas temperatures
of butane. At atmospheric pressure, butane boils at approximately-1C (-30F). Vesconite is suited to
temperatures ranging from-60C(-76F) to 65C (150F) and will not degrade or become brittle at this
gass boiling point or at its typical liquid-phase temperature.

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Vesconite tenders for large pump bushings supply

Vesconite Bearings is tendering for the supply of the largest Vesconite pump bushings that it has
ever supplied.

The bushings are believed to be required by a large water utility in Asia, and it is likely that they will be
used in a hydro-electric project that pumps significant quantities of water over large distances.

This is surmised by Vesconite Bearings technical consultant Paul Potgieter, who comments that the
bearing manufacturer has never had a pump-bearing order for pumps with shafts measuring from
490mm to 580mm in diameter.

I would imagine that the bushings will be supplied to a hydro project, says Potgieter, who is in
discussions with a third party who is supplying a primary contractor for the project.

Vesconite Bearings Koos Finger with some of the large bushings that the company has in stock.

Bushings of this size would be typically supplied for marine applications and used as rudder bearings and
stern tubes, or would be supplied to the sugar industry, which sometimes requires similarly large bushings.

They would be desired because of their dimensional stability, since the polymer that they are made from
does not swell, as well as for their good wear properties, since the lifespan of bushings made from this
polymer is longer than that of many competing materials.

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Potgieter confirms that the bushings are standard stock items but would need to be machined to the
exact sizes specified in the tender.

Other specifications that Vesconite Bearings has recommended to suit the material are that the bushings
wall thicknesses measure 10% of the shaft sizes and that the bushings lengths are the same as the
outside diameter of the bushings.

It is likely that, if the tender is approved, it will take a year to receive the final contract for the bushings.

This is because a pump of this size will take a long time to engineer, says Potgieter.

The Asia Pacific region is the leading consumer of hydropower, with BPs 2016 Statistical Review of
World Energy noting that the region uses 40.5% of all hydropower energy that is produced globally.

China, India, Japan, Vietnam and Pakistan are among the countries with the largest hydroelectricity
consumption in the Asia Pacific region.

Vesconite Bearings Johan Bekker using a vertical lathe to produce a large bearing for the marine industry.

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LEAD IN WATER REMAINS A CONCERN IN INDIA

Indian consumers and utilities should be considering lead-free alternatives in their water systems given
that the country is fast-becoming the world lead-poisoning capital.

Lead Action News reports that in 2010, 33% of over 370 samples of water from the top 26 cities of India
tested positive for harmful content of lead. Out of these, 31% of samples failed to adhere to the World
Health Organisation standards of a lead content of less than 10 ppb (parts per billion).

Lead Action News notes that Kolkata, Kochi, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Nashik and Guwahati have alarming
levels of lead content while Delhi, Coimbatore, Madurai and Bhubaneshwar have high levels of lead.

In the face of this scourge that is particu-


larly being caused by the use of PVC pipes
and brass faucets, industry and health
professionals are encouraging the use of
low-lead brass alternatives, coated brass,
stainless steel, plastic polymers and
composite materials.

The recommendation that is being made is


to ban the use of lead and cadmium-based
plasticisers or stabilisers, among other
recommendations that relate to PVC pipes,
and potentially the use of stainless steel
instead of brass faucets. A Vesconite Hilube lead-free pump bearing

Meanwhile, Vesconite and Vesconite Hilube, two zero-lead polymer alternatives, could be used in lineshaft,
pump bowl and stuffing box bushings for vertical spindle pumps and wear rings for a range of pumps,
recommends Vesconite Bearings Charlie Simpson.

The polymers maintain structural stability, are self-lubricating and contain no lead, he says.

The thermoplastics have been approved by the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme for cold water and
hot water use up to 65C.

Vesconite and Vesconite Hilube are ideal bushing materials for drinking water and pump applications
where lubricant cannot be allowed to contaminate the water and the bearing operates under water.

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Irrigation company reduces golf course
pump-maintenance costs

A South African irrigation company has sought Vesconite Bearings assistance in designing and produc-
ing bushings for the multiple-stage canister pumps that it repairs.

The irrigation company, which is particularly active in installing and repairing irrigation systems at golf
courses, routinely repairs pumps that are necessary for providing the vital water that ensures that golf-
course greens, tees and fairways always look green and lush.

It had found that it needed to buy original-equipment-manufacturer repair kits, comprising many compo-
nents that were never used, even if only the bushings and wear rings needed to be replaced.

It wished to bring down the cost of repairs, and approached Vesconite Bearings to produce no-lubrication-
required, no-swell, wear-resistant bushings that could be used in the application.

Being able to buy only the worn-out com-


ponents has significantly reduced the cost
of the pump repair. Increasing the mean
time between repair has been an added
bonus.

The irrigation company has tested the


re-fitted pumps on a golf course for twelve
months and is happy with the perfor-
mance, reports Vesconite Bearings tech-
nical consultant Charlie Simpson.

It has substantially brought down the


cost of its repairs, he says.
Some of the wear rings and bushings produced for this application

The irrigation company selected Vesconite Hilube as the material of choice. This polymer has a dynamic
unlubricated friction coefficient of less than 0.10 on steel, negligible swell in water and is extremely wear resistant.

Golf course maintenance takes a considerable chunk of the expense budget at most golf clubs, and any
reduction in maintenance costs are welcome.

Globally, there are approximately 35,000 golf courses, with the US the home to almost half of these, and
the UK, Japan, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, China, Sweden and South Africa among the other
nations with a considerable number of golf courses.

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About Vesconite Bearings
South African-based self-lubricated polymer bushings manufacturer Vesconite Bearings was estab-
lished in 1958. It produces a proprietary brand of Vesconite bushings and wear plates that operate in
dusty, dirty or wet conditions and last longer than other products on the market. Vesconite Bearings
has warehouses in South Africa, the US, the UK, the Netherlands and New Zealand, with stocking
distributors in Argentina, Australia and Singapore.

Contact

Charlie Simpson
Tel +27 11 616 1111
Fax +27 11 616 2222
info@vesconite.com
www.vesconite.com

2 Watkins Street
Denver
Johannesburg
2094
South Africa

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